Is Your Child an Addict?
No parent wants to think their child is using drugs. It’s a scary prospect. In fact, scary may be too soft a word. It’s a terrifying, horrifying, and overwhelming prospect.
Many people, when faced with someone close to them using drugs, choose the ostrich method of dealing with stress. That is to say, they stick their head in the sand and pretend everything’s okay. This gut level denial is dangerous and, in cases of full-blown addiction, deadly.
Facing the truth is hard. Facing the truth about a child’s drug use may even seem impossible, but it’s well worth the fight. After all, if a child, loved one, or friend was suffering from cancer, you’d seek out the best treatment possible. You wouldn’t ignore the disease in hopes it’d go away. Treat drug use, abuse, and addiction the same.
At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe that every family touched by addiction needs help. Sometimes this help takes the form of seeking substance abuse treatment. Sometimes it’s as simple as gathering information to better understand the warning signs of drug use.
Make yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and learn how to tell if someone close to you is using drugs.
Signs of Drug Use
There are various classes of drugs (opioids, stimulants, prescription pills of all kinds, and many more). Each of these classes brings with it unique signs and symptoms of drug use.
Find a list of signs common to all types of drug use below:
• Change in mood – has your child gone from outgoing to introverted? Content to depressed? Happy to sullen? Patient to inpatient? These are all changes in mood common to drug use. It’s worth noting that they’re also typical of teenagers. Still, a closer look may be required.
• Change in appearance – has your child drastically altered the way they dress, behave, and interact with others? Again, this is common of typical teenage angst, but may also be a sign of drug use.
• Change in friends – has your child switched friend groups? Have they started hanging around people who appear to be involved in unsavory activities? This may be a sign of drug use.
• Loss of interest – has your child lost interest in things they once loved? Have they withdrawn from activities that once brought them pleasure? This is often a sign of drug use. As with the above signs, it may also be attributed to being a teenager.
• Loss of money – does your child seem to never have money? Do they have a job, yet are always asking to borrow money? This could be due to drug use. After all, drugs aren’t cheap.
• Drug paraphernalia – this is probably the surest sign your child, or friend/loved one, is using drugs. Have you found pipes, straws, baggies, or other drug paraphernalia among their possessions? As the saying goes – if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.
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Effects of Drugs
Much like different classes of drugs have different warning signs, they also have different effects. Simply put, heroin affects users much differently than cocaine does.
Find a list of effects common to all drugs below:
• Euphoria – all drugs produce feelings of intense pleasure. After all, people wouldn’t use drugs if they didn’t have some sort of draw.
• Apathy – all drugs produce feelings of apathy towards anything that isn’t directly related to getting, or using, more drugs. This is true of drug use, abuse, and addiction.
• Compulsive behavior – all drugs produce compulsive behavior, which is linked to apathy. When someone, be it a child, friend, or significant other, is using drugs, they do so compulsively. They do so despite consequences, be they negative or positive.
• Dishonesty – all drugs produce dishonesty in users. Simply put, someone using drugs isn’t going to tell their parents they’re getting high. There is certainly a scale of dishonesty, with recreational use usually bringing less dishonesty than, say, addiction.
What Do I Do if My Child is Using Drugs?
This is, without a doubt, the hardest part about a child using drugs. As if it isn’t enough that a loved one is using drugs, now you’re wondering what steps to take. Well, rest assured that many have been in the shoes you’re now standing in. Their experience can offer valuable tips for dealing with a child using drugs.
First, seek out information. What drug(s) is your child using? What are their main effects and side effects? What danger do they pose? Where is your child likely getting them? What options for stopping are available? What are the various types of treatment? What are their pro’s and con’s?
After gathering information, this last point becomes especially important. You’re now informed and can make a rational decision, rather than one based in fear. So, does your child, loved one, or friend need treatment? If so, what type of treatment best suits their needs? Do they need to detox and go to residential rehab or will they do fine in an outpatient program?
Ask yourself these questions. If you can’t satisfactorily answer them, reach out to someone who can. To that end, give us a call. We have a dedicated group of outreach professionals who can answer all the above questions and more.
Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015.